Big Banks That Still Offer Free Checking

NEW YORK (RateWatch) – Welcome to the new era of personal checking.

The funeral bells for free checking have been tolling for well over a year now, and the list of big banks still offering free, no-strings-attached checking accounts dwindles with each passing month. Bank of America announced in November it would discontinue its free checking accounts, and last week laid out an array of “banking solutions” to help customers navigate the new account landscape. With banks seeking to recoup revenue lost due to new limits on interchange fees (imposed by the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act), other institutions have indicated that new checking fees could be in the pipeline.

If you don’t want to pay for checking, you have two options. The first is to meet the free checking criteria of your bank, which usually involves meeting a minimum balance, setting up direct deposit or using online banking. The second, of course, is to find a bank that still lets you check for free. Using data from RateWatch, we found which of the nation’s 10 largest retail banks (based on total assets) were still offering free checking without any conditions.

Here are the monthly fees for non-interest checking accounts at the nation’s 10 largest banks. Because fees will vary slightly from state to state, the fee listed is a national average.

1.    Chase Manhattan: $10.11
2.    Bank of America: $11.49
3.    Citibank: $7.94
4.    Wells Fargo Bank: $3.27
5.    Wachovia Bank: $0
6.    US Bank: $0
7.    PNC Bank: $0
8.    HSBC Bank: $6.33
9.    SunTrust Bank: $0
10.  Branch Banking & Trust Company: $11.21

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